Now we’re settling in to decent weekend jump racing and the first proper race is the Charlie Hall Chase, in memory of the trainer.
Back in the day this was the first NH weekend when it was necessary to switch between channels between C4 and the BBC, for what was the United House Gold Cup Chase at Ascot, with Richard Pitman and co providing no more than average coverage, not his fault but the beginning of the BBC’s withdrawal from racing.
The big issue with National Hunt racing at the moment is finding good jumping ground. Wetherby is good, Ascot is good, and we could do with at least good to soft. Nonetheless, we have some decent races tomorrow and I’m being a bit picky so here are my limited selections.
15:20 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2)
Cue Card is one of my favourite horses and has tended to start well (Haldon Chase at Exeter and won this last year) but 4/5 is too short against Blaklion* who should like this flat track and appeals at 7/1.
15:35 Sodexo Gold Cup Chase (Grade 3)
I’m all against current favourite Saphir du Rheu (3/1) and all in favour of Tea For Two** (at an appealing 5/1). The latter will fall short in the big races to follow but this is a gift with the rest of the field far below what will follow.
Save for the Byrne Group Handicap Chase, where I don’t have a particular view (Yorkist probable winner but no bet), I don’t know enough about the others which is why I’m not straying beyond the main races.
This is a far more interesting market – no ground issues!
Bet on anyone against Ed Balls! This is another Anne Widdecombe scenario! This has gone way beyond the programme and there is an Ed Balls following that is going to see him at least to Blackpool.
Anastacia is 6/4 to go next, but my preference is Laura Whitmore at 100/30 (Ladbrokes) 4/1 (Coral) – excellent value.
I’m loving this market. Danny Mac is roughly evens and will not win because he has no “journey” and BBC voters require a journey. I remain of the view that Ore is not well enough known so he will not carry the heavy vote when we approach Christmas. The ones who will are Louise (7/1) or Claudia (9/1) and, as such, they are incredible value. Get on now because the odds will shorten after this weekend!
I reiterate that Matt (4/6) will not win the X Factor. I don’t know who will but it won’t be him! It’s 5/1 bar so take your pick.
Ryan is just not very good and should go this weekend. 3/1 for him to go this weekend is good value – he’s a rubbish singer.
I love Saara Aalto who is 7/4 to go this weekend. Maybe I’m being a little biased towards a good singer (see my previous post) but I think she’ll survive for now.
The other voting angle is that groups don’t generally do well. That puts 4 of Diamonds in the mix so they are at risk. On merit they should survive but the story that Sony put them together before the competition could be their downfall.